Spooky Economy

   Transparency and Knowledge Dispel Fear

The comments on this page are my opinion. It is how I see things at this time in my learning. They may not reflect the views of any individuals mentioned elsewhere on this site or that of my family or friends. I hope my comments are helpful and contribute positively.

In these troubled times, there may be some things that we should consider guarding against. Good decisions and fewer mistakes are what we need.

Control of the Internet

Added on December 4, 2010

Information has never been so free. Even in authoritarian countries information networks are helping people discover new facts and making governments more accountable.
— US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, January 21, 2010
Information is the oxygen of the modern age. It seeps through the walls topped by barbed wire, it wafts across the electrified borders.
— President Ronald Reagan

Never in human history has there been such a way for ordinary people to communicate and become informed. While we take it for granted now, it is no less astonishing.

Having unrestricted, uncensored information has given you the opportunity to see other points of view. It allows you to know what questions to ask. It allows others to share information that would otherwise never be made available to you.

Libraries hold a "frozen" collection of books. Their information is locked in time. Television's information is lost the moment it is transmitted. The Internet holds the information in place, and makes it possible to see the information moving forward in time while leaving a trail back to where it began.

No decisions are made between the creation of the information and how it is distributed to you. There is no one in the middle deciding what is best. The Internet is all about getting the data to you.

In a sense, the Internet wasn't invented. Through our collective efforts, millions of us around the world, have created it. It is bigger than any one person or country. Our talents, manners, fears and hopes have made this medium something far, far greater than a collection of servers and routers.

We have reached a point in human history where this medium has become a key to our democracy and the democracies of all nations. It has become the counterpart of the ballot box. Without this tool, we American citizens would not be able to fully share our concerns, learn our options or form ideas for the improvement of our lives. We would be greatly limited.

The Internet is democracy's desktop. It is where broken or incomplete ideas are looked at by others and given a chance at becoming complete and fully formed. It is where flawed ideas leave their mark and serve as "dead end" signs. Pitfalls and traps in our collective thinking processes are remembered.

Our democracy has evolved so much that it should now be considered a Constitutional guarantee:

Freedom to participate in unrestricted mass communication.

It should very well be the new chapter in our children's history books.

But, sadly, we could be seeing things that may change our direction and become a threat to our new right. Events and our reactions to these events may lead us to make damaging and possibly irreversible decisions.

There are increasing number of calls for laws and regulations to "ensure fairness" and "neutrality". There are calls for laws to "fight piracy" and "protect children". As noble as these causes may be, they will change the way the Internet works. That's what laws and regulations do.

Our history is full of laws with unintended consequences. We cannot afford mistakes with such an important part of our lives.

There is nothing more important now than to make sure no changes are made to how the Internet works, how easily available it is, or how we work with it.

Business must do nothing to change the Internet. Governments must do nothing to change the Internet.

The Internet must remain as it is today. It works, we know how to use it and it will growth naturally with us as it has for the past twenty years.

If governments or businesses have critical systems that must be protected, they should be placed on secure, private networks. Our technological capabilities are breathtakingly advanced. There are solutions, but any solution must be a burden only to the government or business.

Protect the Internet.

Posted December 4, 2010 Revised (n/a)

This is my opinion. It's a work in progress. I hope it's helpful.

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